Re: # of writers to developers

Subject: Re: # of writers to developers
From: Bill Swallow <techcommdood -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2005 11:09:01 -0400


About 200 developers and 10 writers, worldwide.

The Developer to writer ratio doesn't work and here's why:

1. There is no standard developer to feature ratio.
2. There is no standard feature to writer ratio.
3. There is no standard feature to effort ratio.
4. There is no standard projected effort to real effort ratio.
5. There is no effort to level of experience ratio.

Ratios are meaningless and are a cop-out to actual, good project
scoping and tracking. You can't measure effort in heads. If you're
looking for meaningful numbers to work from, focus on better scoping
and project tracking. Good scoping will give you an idea of level of
effort, and that translates to time based on the experience of the
resource you allocate to the task. You work the numbers and will then
get a number of developers, testers, writers, installers, localizers,
and other resources from that scoping effort. And, those numbers will
change for each and every project. When you're in the negative, add a
person. When you're way positive, reallocate a resource to another
task. This is where proper project tracking comes into play. The more
meticulous you are about tracking actual time against projected task
durations, the better idea you'll have of how the project's going,
whether you truly have enough people (and the right people) on the
tasks, and can use all that data in planning for your next project.

If ratios worked across the board, all aspects of modern life as we
know it would be completely different.

On 4/28/05, Frances McGill wrote:
>
> I have posted a question about ratios previously and received comments such
> as "ratios don't matter, it the amount of work required", and "you have to
> look at all the factors including page count, etc.," and these are indeed
> valid comments with which I agree. However, some companies insist that there
> are indeed ratios and plan and budget projects accordingly. This makes sense
> to a degree too. To have a 1 to 1 ratio of writers to developers may be an
> ideal solution, but financially not feasible. So, I would appreciate it if
> you could tell me how many developers there are in your company vs the
> number of writers.

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Follow-Ups:

References:
# of writers to developers: From: Frances McGill

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